Enabling my 29 year old son out of guilt

by Catherine C.
(Mesa, Arizona)

I've been clean and sober for 18 years. My son was about 8 when I started to get sober(relapsed 3 times). It's been a long recovery for me. Thinking I was making amends for the harm I had done to my son I think I have gone overboard. It's hard to let go and trust that God will take care of him.

This causes me a lot of stress, anxiety. My son has been doing drugs and drinking since he was a teenager. I've stopped helping him with money. Now I listen to him and enable him all the time on the phone. I've been trying to cut down on the phone calls and advice giving lately. Now I have to tell him I can't listen to his problems because they cause me lots of stress and anxiety. I'm going to try and tell him again. He's so used to me doing this it might take a couple of times to get him to call someone else about his problems.

My husband his stepfather gets very upset by my enabling. I believe now it's because when I'm upset and stressed over the actions of my son..my husband suffers.

I've now realized I'm not doing any of us any good being an enabler and thinking I was "helping". So I've come here to see what other people have done to stop there enabling.

Thanks

Comments for Enabling my 29 year old son out of guilt

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 15, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Same situation with my 30 yr old girl
by: Anonymous

I too suffered from a drug addiction while raising my daughter. I have been clean from drugs for 13 yrs and alcohol for 5 years. She is a single mom and I have been financially helping her school clothes appliances groceries taking her on vactions, etc for quite some time. All out of guilt I suppose,I understand she felt abandoned and sad during those years but I have been apologizing and asking for forgiveness for 10-12 tears now and it still eludes me. Just when I think things are god between us she pulls out her knife in the back,,,, not literally and I am the worst mother ever. My fear is that she will keep me from my grandaughter that I love so much.
I hope that your situation has improved.

Aug 15, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
:)
by: Anonymous

you are very welcome!

Aug 15, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thanks Angie
by: Anonymous

Thank you for the referance. I can use all the help I can get. :)

Aug 15, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
To Catherine
by: Anonymous

Hi Catherine,
I have 17 in recovery myself and went down a VERY tough road with my son over the years he was a teenager and young adult.

I joined a parent's support group and eventually helped start a Families Anonymous meeting in my city. (It is for loved ones, mainly parents, of alcohol or drug addicted kids)

This group was vital in helping me set boundaries and learn how to not enable and what to say. If you go to their website (families anonymous) and go to the literature page there are two pieces of literature that are very good for these purposes.

One is called "Setting Boundaries, A Loving Thing To Do" and the other is a hand guide for when they call on the phone. It's entitled "What Do I Say" It is very very helpful.

Good Luck!
Angie Carter

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Enabling Behavior Discussion Forum.